Monday, December 7, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

YouTube Friday #1

Back when I did a baseball blog (StopTheWave.com - R.I.P), I used to do a post every Friday called "YouTube Friday" and I would post about 5 baseball-related Fridays each week. So, with a lack of posts around here (apologies again! Work's been buys, blah blah blah), this will be a fun way to spark my posting here again and give people at least something to do around these parts once a week. So, without further ado, here are five videos to keep you entertained this weekend!

So...Tiger Woods has been in the news lately. A Chinese news station took it upon themselves to use CGI to re-inact what they think went down. Very entertaining! Apparently Tiger drives a mini-van. Who knew?



Saw this guy on Ellen and I want to give him a huge high five. My friend Mike Estes always wanted to do something similar to this, but we stuck to plagiarizing crappy werewolf videos instead.



Josh Sale is an outfielder at Bishop Blanchet HS in Seattle. He's ranked as the sixth-best HS prospect in the country by your's truly and if you're in the Seattle are this spring, do yourself a favor and go see him play. Dude's legit. I've watched this HR video about 50 times.



I didn't think I could like Taylor Swift any more than I already did, but then I found out she covers Rihanna songs and my favorite Eminem song live. She also did a hilarious rap with T-Pain during the last Country Music Awards and wrote her own monologue for SNL. I'm a huge fan and I'm not ashamed to admit it anymore.



Katy Perry covering one of my favorite songs ever.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Conor In Oahu

I guess this probably goes without saying, but It's embarrassing how long this blog has been idle. Luckily, anyone reading this blog probably likes Cheryl more than me, and she started an awesome blog of her own that has picked up the slack (and then some). This blog kind of died right before the draft, when I got super busy and then I went to Hawaii and then got back and was busy throughout the summer.

But I did have an awesome time in Hawaii. It provided some much-needed fun and relaxation right after the draft and right before the stress that comes with moving across the country. So, I wanted to chronicle the trip here. Better late than never, right?

Cheryl's dad was nice enough to take us to Oahu as a Christmas gift. It was Kent and Kathy, me and Cheryl, Cheryl's brother Greg, his wife Kari and their three-year-old son, Max.

Kent and Kathy picked us all up at the airport and led the way to our awesome resort. Apparently Cheryl was the only one trustworthy enough to drive the rental car and she did a fabulous job all week. By the time we got to our room, it was already kind of late at that point, so we just got unpacked and settled in.


That was the view from our hotel room.

Day 1
The first day, we took it easy and just kind of explored what the resort had to offer. The resort has some man-made coves into the ocean, so we just floated in those and then hung out in the pools a little bit. It was nice to be in the sun and the warm water. Max had a blast and we all worked up an appetite, so we ate lunch at the little restaurant on location, played in the pools some more and then had some shave ice. That night, we barbecued some ribs and played some games in the room.

Day 2
On the second day, we decided to go snorkeling at Electric Beach. It's called Electric Beach because a power plant shoots really warm water into the ocean and the fish just love it. Although it was sometimes nauseating swimming through very warm currents of water, it was really neat to see all the fish. However, we kind of got caught up in the fun and didn't realize how far we had drifted out. Swimming back was quite a chore for me and there were actually a few moments I thought I was going to pass out. Cheryl thought I was going to die. After that, we went to Paradise Cove, a private beach that was a lot of fun for just floating and relaxing. While we were there, a sea turtle swam up very close to us and stuck its head out of the water to get some air, which was really cool. That night, Greg and I barbecued some steaks for everyone, which was awesome, then Greg, Kari, Cheryl and I went down for a night swim in the pool. Good times.

Day 3
We did some more snorkeling on the third day, this time at Shark's Cove. This was my favorite because we snorkeled for a long time, saw tons of fish (and more sea turtles) and I never felt that my life was in danger. After that, we went up to the North Shore for some lunch at Cholos. After that, we did a little shopping and then headed down the street for my first Matsumoto experience. I had heard Cheryl talk about Matsumoto Shave Ice for years and now I finally got to experience it for myself. Well, as usual, she was spot on....it was awesome.



The 30-minute wait was worth it, and it was fun to look at all the celebrity pictures inside the shop. Adam Sandler knows what's up when it comes to shave ice. After that, we went home, showered up and then took in a Hawaiian show on the resort lawn, which was really entertaining, before heading to a nice dinner with everyone at the Ialani resort. It was here that Cheryl discovered that whenever Max got upset or fussy, he would quickly calm down if she pulled up interesting YouTube videos on her iPhone. More on that later...


It was a long day and the dudes fell asleep in the back of the car.

Day 4
On the fourth day, we drove back up to the North Shore in the morning for a day of beaches. We first stopped at Waimea, but didn't park because there weren't any spots. Maybe if I go back to Oahu, I'll have the balls to jump off the huge rock. Probably not. Then we went to Pipeline and watched some surfers for a little bit. When we got back to the car, we saw something that has (unfortunately) been burned into my brain. This guy...



After that, we played in Sunset Beach for a little while and then it was on to Pounders, where I got....pounded. It certainly lived up to the hype. Every time you get hit with a huge wave, it knocks you underwater and right when you get back up, you have about a split second to catch your breath before you get knocked over again. I finally had to call it a day when I was losing my breath and did a double summersault underwater. It was fun while it lasted though.


When you're at the beach, always remember to wear sunscreen!

After everyone had their fill at Pounders, we went and got some lunch at the L&L Drive-In. Greg and I thought it was pretty good. The girls? Not so much. We also got a Taro Pie at McDonalds, which was interesting. I think I'll stick to apple, though. Then we went on a little tour of BYU-Hawaii, where Greg and Kari met. We also stopped at a grocery store for a few things, which is only worth mentioning because of what happened after, in the parking lot. It was a long day and Max was tired and started to whine a little in the car, as we were leaving the store. Cheryl quickly pulled up a Spongebob video on her phone and handed it to Max.

What she didn't realize was that, apparently, people like to redub Spongebob videos with a bunch of swear words and accidentally set him up with this video...



We were talking and didn't realize our error until 2:08 into this thing! All puns aside, Max is a sponge at this point and repeats a lot of things he hears (like Black Eyed Peas songs!). So, if he starts calling Greg an "assbag," blame Cheryl.

After that we tried to hit up Matsumoto again, but the line was too long even for us, so we found Leonard Jr.’s hot malasada truck. Mmmmm.



We drove back to the hotel after that, barbecued some chicken for dinner then played games. While we were barbecuing, I overheard a guy at the grills tell his wife, "I wish they made a cologne that smelled like this." ...a joke I made a couple nights earlier. Don't think I didn't notice, dude.


Max loved Matsumoto, but was also very content with Otter Pops in the hotel room!

Day 5
On the fifth day, we headed to Aloha Stadium for some flea market action. We walked around for a few hours and it all starts to blend together, because everyone’s basically selling the same stuff.

After that, I texted Hawaii’s assistant baseball coach and asked him where to find the island’s best plate lunch. He recommended the Rainbow Drive-In. We tried to find it using my phone, but somehow got a wrong address or something and ended up nowhere close to the actual location. Thankfully, some nice locals told us we weren’t close and were even nice enough to lead us to the right spot…which was about a 10-minute drive. But before they decided to just drive us there, they gave me a handwritten map on a piece of paper from their car. The paper was a receipt from a recent oil change, so of course I Googled the name on the receipt when I got home and was shocked to see the results. The guy on the invoice was a teenager in Hawaii that was recently put away for murder. Was that his family driving his car while he was in the slammer? I’ll never know for sure, but that was kind of weird. We actually tried to send a Rainbow Drive-In gift certificate to the address from the invoice, but it got returned. Anyway…it was a good plate lunch. Good call, coach!



After lunch, we walked around Waikiki for a little bit and went back to the hotel to chillax. That night, Greg, Kari, Cheryl and I went out to dinner by ourselves, while Kent and Kathy hung back and watched Max. We went to Roy’s and it was awesome. I had a special that included salmon, steak and shrimp and it was probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had.



After dinner we went back to the resort for another night swim. Greg may or may not have ran into the ocean naked.

Day 6
This morning we tried to go snorkeling at one of the beaches on the resort. Kent had a good experience there the day before, but we didn’t have such luck. I lost my mask trying to get into the really choppy water and Kari got scraped up. I didn’t get far enough in to see anything, but even those that did said it was too mucky to see any fish. Oh well. We went back and just kind of hung out in one of the coves before going back up for lunch.

We got cleaned up and then headed back up to the North Shore for one last trip to Matsumoto. This time, Greg got his with the red azuki beans, which I decided tasted like hot dogs. Not a good combo. After that, we went to the Polynesian Cultural Center to walk around before the PCC’s show that night. That was a lot of fun. The PCC has a bunch of different areas, each one dedicated to a Polynesian island. In “Tonga,” I got selected to come up on stage and try my hand at some drumming. It was rad.







The buffet was good and the show, “Horizons,” was a lot of fun. I especially enjoyed the drumming, fire twirling and girls shaking their hips.

Day 7
It was time to check out of the resort. So, we got out of there and headed up to Pali Lookout, because even though we had to check out, our flight was a red-eye, so we had the whole day to kill. The lookout was cool, then we went and had some lunch, then went back to Waikiki and walked around a little more.

For dinner, we decided on Duke’s, which was great, but the highlight of the night actually happened on the walk to dinner. As we were walking through downtown Waikiki, there were pigeons everywhere, especially on the sidewalk near other outdoor eateries. As we walked by the Cheesecake Factory, there were a lot of pigeons and I pretended to kick one. When it didn’t even flinch, I decided to stop messing around and really kicked it. That got its attention and it started flying….right up Kathy’s skirt! She let out a blood-curdling scream right in my ear, as she grabbed onto my arm and wet her pants in terror.





Overall, it was an awesome trip and I can’t wait to go back someday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Big News



Cheryl has her own blog now! Sure, we could have just both blogged here, but that would have required a name change...and her blog's name was just too good to waste: NorthCherylina

So head over there now for a recap of what she's been up to since leaving WA and a video tour of our new apartment. Bookmark it, love it, leave lots of comments, just don't forget about me...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dude At The Airport

This was so funny. I wasn't the only photographer...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rollergirls

I went with my friend Jeff and his friend Rochelle to go see a Carolina Rollergirls double header last night. I was a little skeptical but, honestly, it was awesome and I quickly became a fan. Don't knock it till you try it!

Basically, there's two teams of five girls skating around a flat, oval track. Each team essentially has two positions: four "blockers" and one "jammer." There's actually three blockers, a "pivot" and a jammer, but I don't really know what a pivot does. Anyway, the goal is to get your jammer to the front of the pack, at which point, they can skate around and rack up points by crossing various lines. Eventually they'll get back into the pack and it starts over again. The blockers are trying to clear lanes for their jammers while, at the same time, trying to block the other team's jammer. Really, it sounds more complicated than it is.

We watched 2 games and each game consists of two, 30-minute halves. The first game was Carolina vs. Gotham Girls All-Stars (2008 National Champs). They were LEGIT. Gotham won and the score was something like 181-34. Then it was Carolina (same team, but different girls) vs. River City Rollergirls from Richmond, Virginia. That was a lot closer, but Carolina lost again, 81-76 (or something).

The skaters have cool names like Penelope Bruz, Trudy Struction, Eye Candy Stroy, Kama Suture, Scariett Tubman, Surly Temple, and Barbara Ambush.

I thought of a few names of my own: Slamma Montana, Ann Uerysm & if there were a republican rollergirl, she could be Sarah M. Palin.

Here's a video...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wow, I suck

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. With the draft being just two weeks away I have been amazingly busy and it's going to be crazy for a while, even after the draft because of Hawaii, moving Cheryl and all our stuff out here, finding a place to live, summer tournaments and showcases to cover, weddings, etc. But I can't complain. Life is good, even if I've been bad about posting the details here.

I'm going to Florida tomorrow for the weekend and I'll only post something if I see an alligator...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Ranking NOFX Albums

I was talking to my friend Matt today about the new NOFX CD and how much I like it. We were talking about how it compared to their other albums, so I decided to rank them, starting with my least favorite (though I like all listed here, obviously) and going down to my favorite. NOFX has been a band for almost 30 years and they're still putting out awesome, important music. They're definitely one of my favorites and it makes me proud and happy that my friends and I still listen the same stuff that bonded us in junior high.

So, here's my order, with the caveat that I only focused on post-S&M Airlines full-lengths (because, let's get serious, who likes Maximum Rocknroll, Liberal Animation or S&M Airlines?). I also thought it would get too hairy to try and rank EPs (though The Decline would be No. 1), live CDs and B-Side compilations.

Here they are with Haiku reviews...

9) Ribbed
Silliness begins
You can hear the potential
Just a bit too raw

8) Wolves In Wolves Clothing
Big disappointment
I still have the CD, but...
Erased from iTunes

7) White Trash, Two Heebs & A Bean
Hefe's first full-length
Guitars still sound too '80s
Getting close to greatness

6) Heavy Petting Zoo
Too slow, kinda meh
The cover grossed out my dad
Songs you don't hear live

This is where it gets really tough for me....

5) Pump Up The Valuum
Lots of great songs here
Don't be fooled by the low rank...
I still love this disc

4) So Long And Thanks For All The Shoes
Sixteen diverse songs
In just 32 minutes
Mike's bass never better

3) Coaster
25 years strong
They're just as good as ever
Could be number two

2) The War On Errorism
Really good balance
Angry, but still funny too
Cheryl loves this one

1) Punk In Drublic
Ahh, my first real love
Takes me back to junior high
Good times, Oi! Oi! Oi!

Picture Party!

I've heard from a few different people lately that one of the things they like about my blog is when I post pictures of what I've eaten lately. So I decided to do a post cleaning out the pics from my camera phone, which includes a few restaurants (both new and old) as well as a few other funny things I've seen lately. Enjoy!

First, the food...


This is from a Persian kabob place I went to a couple weeks ago with my buddy. The meat on the left looks like a turd and wasn't very good. The meat on the right is lamb and was just okay, but kinda fatty. Also, I was expecting (hoping?) the bread underneath would be like nan, but it was hard and crunchy and tasted like sesame seeds. Really nothing special, overpriced, won't go back...



This is a sandwich from Which Wich? on The Ave. That place was amazing and I was glad to find out it's a franchise and there's one in Raleigh. This is their sandwich called "The Elvis" and, as you can see, it's peanut butter, honey and banana. So delicious!



This lovely spread is from my very favorite Vietnamese restaurant on The Ave called Thanh Vi, a true Seattle gem that I miss and always try to hit up when I'm back home. I used to eat there all the time when I worked on The Ave (no joke...10 days straight at one point, which I've never done with any other restaurant). Love this place. Great food, cheap, very friendly (the woman there remembered me after not being in for more than a year—even asked about Cheryl). Just writing this is making me wish I could go there tomorrow! This is a "small" bowl of pho & a beef Vietnamese sandwich. Normally I would just get one or the other, but when I get the opportunity to visit Thanh Vi these days, I have to pig out and get both.


Last night I got a serious craving for some authentic, taco-truck tacos. My favorite Durham food blog, Carpe Durham, loves taco trucks more than I and apparently Durham is thriving with Mexican food on wheels. So much so that the Carpe Durham peeps have made a "Tacomentary" about the situation...




So I drove up to North Durham and got me some tacos. The drive took about 15 or 20 minutes, of course I had to take out cash because I never have any and I got a little freaked out by a Dog The Bounty Hunter-looking dude with a Hells Angels belt buckle at the gas station, but once I bit into my first taco, I knew the voyage was worth it! I got four tacos because I'm fat I couldn't decide what kinds I wanted to try. I got Mexican barbecue, asada, pastor and chicken. Pastor and asada were the best, chicken was the worst because it was dry, but all were delicious and hit the spot.



This is a Chicago dog & cheese fries. I love Chicago dogs—loaded up all the way, but I've only had them before at Matt's Famous Chili Dogs. This was was actually in Chicago. Granted, it was just in the airport, so I'm not really counting it until I have one from in the city somewhere, but it was still pretty dang good. I really suck at eating local cuisine though. Didn't have crab cakes when I was in Baltimore and didn't have either a Chicago dog or deep-dish pizza when I was in Chi-city. Lesson learned: I've had tons of North Carolina barbecue to make up for past mistakes.

And now for something completely different!


Cooper is awesome!



Wacky space toilets at O'Hare. I've never seen these before. There's disposable plastic film that rotates on a new cover for each use to ensure a clean, sanitary seat. Fernando—was this a deciding factor in moving to Chicago?



A license plate I saw in the Starbucks parking lot the other day (click on it to make it bigger). Did a double take. The young, Asian female kinda mean-mugged me she noticed I was taking a photo, but that's what you get...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

BeanBoozled!

Last week, when I was at home, Jon, Jen & the girls came up to visit. As always, it was really great to see them. They always have such funny stories saved up, which is why I've been lobbying for them to start a family blog (any help in this effort would be greatly appreciated). They recently took a trip down to California for a family vacation to Disneyland and they also stopped off in Fairfield, Calif. to tour the Jelly Belly factory. They said it was really neat and told us about how it takes two weeks to make a jelly bean (probably why they're expensive ... which reminds me of the time in high school when all my buddies worked at Target and got us a ton of Jelly Belly tins after easter for a penny apiece. Good times!) and how any beans that are too big or too small aren't stamped with the name and are sold at the factories as "Belly Flops." They also brought us some "treats" from the factory—Jelly Belly's latest gross-out beans in a box called BeanBoozled. The idea behind the BeanBoozled boxes is that there are 10 different colors of beans in the box and each color can either be a good flavor or a wretched one. See for yourself...



So, right after breakfast, as we were all sitting around the table, I decided to crack the box open, sort them out by color and start playing Jelly Belly roulette. I almost threw up my pancakes. In my opinion, here are the flavors, from worst to "best": rotten egg, vomit, skunk spray, moldy cheese, booger, baby wipes, pencil shavings, ear wax, toothpaste & pepper.



Jon was man enough to try them too...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The story that won't die

Evening Magazine talked about our gnome prank for April Fool's Day yesterday...

Click here to watch!

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Face For Radio

Yesterday I was a guest on a fantasy baseball internet radio show called RotoExperts Think Tank. I had to wake up at 8 in the morning to do this (after going to bed at like 3:30), so I blame my random babbling on the fact that I was really tired. But, if you still want to give it a listen, here you go. I start about 1/3 of the way through the show and you can fast forward by just clicking on the progress bar...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I Got Surv'd

Kari tagged me for a belated Valentine's Day survey, so here goes nothing...

1. Where did you meet your wife?
Cheryl's a year younger, but we went to junior high and high school together. We didn't hang in junior high, but I knew some of her friends. During my senior year in high school, my friends and I would often drive by Caroline as she was walking home from school and would oftentimes exchange waves. After one of the friendly drive-bys, my friends and I actually had a conversation that went something like this: "Hey, we should hang out with that group of girls—they seem really cool." They must have been thinking the same thing, because around the same time, Cheryl was on my sister's softball team and sent me a Happy Birthday e-mail out of the blue. So, our groups of friends started hanging out frequently, I got a crush on Cheryl and we started dating soon thereafter...

2. How long did you date before you were married?
A long time. We were friends for like a year and a half, then started dating the summer after my freshman year of college. So...five years.

3. How long have you been married?
972 days.

4. What does she do that surprises you?
She remembers EVERYONE'S birthday. I'm talking random-ass people we haven't talked to since junior high or high school. She's like Rain Man.

5. What is your favorite feature of hers?
There are a lot to choose from, but I'm especially fond of her adorable dimples!

6. What is her best quality?
Cheryl's the complete package. She's extremely kind and caring, she's smart, she's supportive, honest, down-to-earth, fun to hang out with, a great cook and well-organized (which is great, because I'm certainly not). But, what I like best is her awesome sense of humor. That girl cracks me up on a daily basis.

7. Does she have a nickname for you?
Let's see...Mostly just Con and Hubb Rubb.

8. What is her favorite food?
Mongolian Beef from P.F. Chang's.

9. What is her favorite sport?
I'm guessing "So You Think You Can Dance" doesn't quite count, so I'll say volleyball.

10. When and where did you first kiss?
Ha! This is actually disputed. I say in her car, she says at her house. But, since she knows Shavon Jones' birthday, we should probably trust her memory over mine...

11. What is your favorite thing you do as a couple?
Lazy weekends together.

12. Do you have any children?
Just names, so far. We'll see if we can keep dogs alive first...

13. Does she have any hidden talents?
Aside from the birthday thing? She's really good at Guitar Hero, she can tie cherry stems in a knot with her tongue and can do funny impressions of really random people.

14. How old is she?
26

15. Who said "I love you first"?
Cheryl did, but the feeling was mutual.

16. What is her favorite music?
Pop punk, '80s & Phantom of the Opera soundtrack.

17. What do you admire most about her?
I admire her strength. Cheryl's been forced to deal with a lot of things, but she's not bitter or spiteful. She's just a really, really good person.

18. What is her favorite color?
Cerulean blue

19. Will she read this?
Oh fo' sho'!

20. I tag...
Kelly, Katie & Trisha

Sunday, March 1, 2009

North Carolina's Vern Fonk

You be the judge...who's worse?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

FAIL

I didn't think these Hardee's commercials could get any more repulsive...and then they compared their burger to a dick.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bumper Sticker

Saw this bumper sticker tonight in the parking lot when I went to dinner. Talked to the guy in the car and he was a real grouchy old white guy with too much cologne. Apparently he made 100 of these for all of his friends.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire


I went and saw Slumdog Millionaire tonight. Despite the hype, I actually went in with mixed expectations because on the way to the theater, Cheryl told me a couple friends saw it and said it didn't live up to the hype. To protect the guilty, I won't mention their names because I was blown away. I absolutely loved it. I would see it again tomorrow, in a heartbeat. If you haven't seen it yet, do it ASAP. It's everything a good movie should be. It's gut-wrenching, heart-warming, thought provoking, powerful, funny, dramatic, entertaining and educational all at the same time. Even though most people think they know the ending, it still managed to be captivating and suspenseful. It's a great story, visually stimulating, the acting is fantastic and, as a bonus, Freida Pinto (shown above) is just stunning. Two thumbs way up—this movie deserves it all.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Three crazy things I saw yesterday

1) On the way home from the game, I took an exit looking for a BBQ joint that I had seen billboards for. Of course it was closed, but I saw a drive-thru convenience store. It's not a drive-thru like McDonalds, where you drive next to the building...you actually drive through the damn thing! If you think about it, that pretty much makes all the other "convenience" stores pretty inconvenient.

2) A UNC Baseball billboard. I was pretty surprised by that. I know I haven't seen a UW baseball billboard, but I'm trying to think if I've even seen a Mariners billboard...

3) This huge chair (notice the mini van for scale). I've actually seen these (there are two) before from the freeway, but this time I actually took the exit and tracked them down...

Cheryl's last visit

I've been lazy on the blogging lately, but I had an awesome long weekend with Cheryl last week. Cheryl couldn't get a flight out on Friday night, so she toughed it out and hopped on a 6 a.m. flight on Saturday morning. She got in at about 4:30 and we hung out for a bit before heading to P.F. Chang's for a nice Valentine's Day dinner. After that, we came home and had a relaxing evening of cribbage and movies.

On Sunday, we met a friend and his girlfriend for lunch at Mama Dip's, which was awesome. For the drive out to Chapel Hill, I downloaded the new Lonely Island CD, which is awesome. After lunch, we headed to Frankie's Fun Park for some mini golf. I won't lie...Cheryl schooled me (48 to 54).

Here she is after shooting a hole-in-one...

The place also had some nasty, fake blue water...


After that, Cheryl and I headed home to nap and chill. That night, we went to dinner at Jason's Deli and then just chilled some more—watching the season 14 premiere of The Amazing Race and then the new shows on MTV. I rubbed Cheryl's feet for an entire HALF HOUR for losing at mini golf!

The best part about Cheryl's trip out is that is was for more than just a weekend! She lined up the trip with her school's mid-winter break, so she was able to stay until Wednesday morning. I was able to take Monday off because it was President's Day, which was great. Cheryl and I slept in and then headed over to Sutton's Drug Store in Chapel Hill. That place is awesome. You step in and you kind of feel like you're going back in time to the '50s. On Monday afternoon, we looked at some available houses and condos online. There are some really cute ones, but here's a tip for home sellers. If the best picture you have of your backyard "pool" looks like this, just skip the picture...


I had to go to work on Tuesday and Cheryl pranked me by changing my desktop picture to something that shows two of my least-favorite things about the Mariners. If only the fans were doing the wave in the background, she would have had an awesome trifecta! Damn, she's funny!

We went to dinner that night at a friend's house, which was a lot of fun. Cheryl headed back to Seattle on Wednesday morning and the countdown begins again...34 days until we see each other again!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wii so horny

This SNL skit the other night almost made me pass out...

Mixed Feelings on Griffey


I don't talk much about baseball around here, but I wanted to share my thoughts on Ken Griffey Jr. returning to Seattle.

The Mariners have signed Griffey—apparently for real this time—and I have mixed feelings.

I'll preface this by saying Ken Griffey Jr. essentially defines my childhood. I moved to Seattle in 1990 as a seven-year-old, so yeah it was natural to latch onto The Kid.

Actually, I even liked him before moving to Seattle. I remember going to a baseball card shop in New England and getting his rookie card ... only to have Megan accidentally sit on it on the drive home.



Griffey was my favorite player. I would always stop what I was doing when he came to the plate. I loved watching him hit back-to-back home runs with his dad, hit home runs in eight-consecutive games and bang one off the warehouse in the home run derby at Camden Yards.

Griffey even tossed me a ball once in the Kingdome and I was lucky enough to watch him play in a charity basketball game against the teachers at my school.

I loved watching him make acrobatic catches, joke around with other players and his smile at the bottom of the dog pile after The Double is the exclamation point on my favorite baseball memory of all time.



I'm man enough to admit that I cried as I welcomed him back to Seattle a couple of years ago when he came to town with the Reds.

So, sure, a part of me likes it because seeing him in an M's uniform again will just feel good.*

But, there's not a nostalgia column in the standings and I think it's counterproductive for the direction of this team. Sometimes you should just love the past and move on.

Griffey isn't the player many in Seattle will expect him to be. He shouldn't be allowed to play the outfield and is useless against lefties (.202/.299/.350 over 187 PAs last year).

Like Dave said the other day at USSMariner, if Griffey is willing to DH against righties, this could end up being the best of both worlds. It would appease the fans that want to party like it's 1995 and could help the team win games.

If, however, he's playing the field and getting regular at-bats against lefties, I think this situation could be kind of be like seeing your grandparents in the old folks home, when they don't know your name and have to have their diapers changed. It's nice to see them ... but your final memories will be forever tainted.

But, in general, I'm excited. Someone better find that old Naughty By Nature CD quick!



*Unless it's these uniforms.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Random thoughts

Random thoughts from the day, since it's been a while without an update (sorry Mom!)

• I never realized making fresh squeezed orange juice was so hard. It doesn't help that I already have a sore hand from opening my thermos, but damn that was strenuous. Better be worth it!
• That's what I'll be having for breakfast tomorrow morning. Well, that, and a yogurt parfait (organic french vanilla yogurt with granola and fresh blueberries). Cheryl told me that I bought a bunch of "stoner food" during my last grocery shopping trip. Eggo waffles, trail mix, grilled cheese Uncrustables...maybe she has a point.
• I watch way too much Jon & Kate Plus Ei8ht
• My job is freaking awesome. Now that all of our books are off to the printers, I can finally start focusing on the task at hand. I was absolutely stunned today when I looked at the clock and it was already 5 p.m. The days just fly by.
• My XBox 360 has been magically working like a charm lately (knock on wood).
• Here are a few awesome web sites I've found lately: F My Life (R-rated), This Is Why You're Fat, & JacksonPollock.org
• At work today, I found out that Scottsdale Community College's mascot is the Fighting Artichoke. That's awesome!
• Playing poker on Friday night was a lot of fun and I'd like to play recreationally more often. I know the guys at work have talked about getting a game going & I think that would be a blast.
• Jeff and I are going to see Tim Barry on the 28th.
• I've become addicted to Facebook lately. A few frustrating design gripes aside, it's not even funny how much better it is than MySpace. In fact, the only thing MySpace really has going for it is MySpace Music.
• I'm sure most of you have seen the "David After the Dentist" viral video, but if you haven't, do yourself a favor!
• The weather has been absolutely gorgeous lately. I can't wait to get my new bike out here!
• Five days until Cheryl comes out to visit!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Garbage Pail Kids


I forgot to blog about this earlier, but I watched The Garbage Pail Kids Movie over Christmas break and it was awesome. My niece got it in our annual white elephant exchange and was nice enough to give it to uncle Con Con. Greg and I watched it late one night (like 3 a.m.) and laughed our heads off. As you can tell from the photo, it basically defines the "so bad it's good" genre. If you ever need a little "laughter midnight" viewing, give it a shot.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl commercials

Here were my three favorite Super Bowl commercials. How about you?

CareerBuilder.com


Doritos


Hulu.com

Saturday, January 31, 2009

One productive Saturday!

I set my alarm this morning, because I didn't want to sleep the day away and it ended up being my most productive Saturday in a long time!

I woke up at about 9:30, showered and hit the road with a destination in mind—Hong Kong Chinese in north Durham. I've been craving dim sum for a while and wasn't able to go when I was home because of the stupid snow. When I got to the restaurant, I was both disappointed and angry to find out they were closed. The rage only lasted a second though because I quickly realized that I was actually just a few minutes too early. That's a first! On the weekends, this place serves dim sum from 11 to 3, which is good to know. To kill some time, I headed across the street to a thrift store called Everything But Granny's Panties. I actually tried to find this place before Christmas to follow our family's rules and try to find some used gifts. Now I'm glad I couldn't find it. The place was a wreck. It's basically just a house with a bunch of crap inside. Nothing to see there...however, they did have a cool junkyard-style elephant in their parking lot!



In the store, I overheard a really funny conversation. A customer asked to use the bathroom and the woman working said, "Well, we used to let customers use the bathroom, but then somebody went and put a video of it onto the YouTube. I don't know why they felt the need to do that...we warned them it was messy!"

So, of course I searched for it. And of course I found it, with this written as the description: Okay, lemme explain. There is a second-hand store in Durham called Everything but Granny's Panties, and we had heard a lot of good things about it. When we finally went, we were a bit disappointed, but that's how these kinds of places are. Hit or miss. I really had to go to the bathroom while we were there, but they don't have a "public" restroom. They were, however, kind enough to let me use theirs, warning me first to not "break my leg." I thought they were kidding until I opened the door!! Note: Everyone around here actually calls the place "Granny's Panties." Enjoy!


A Mess in Granny's Panties from able parris on Vimeo.

After that, I headed back over to the restaurant and it was PACKED! I got back right at 11, which is good because if I had gotten back a few minutes later, I might not have gotten a table. Pretty crazy! I got seated and started off with some pork dumplings and pork buns. I love those pork buns...soooo good! Then I picked out something that I really didn't like (still not even sure what it is). I tried some shrimp dumplings (I like the pork ones better) and finished with a couple of those deliciously sweet sesame balls. With the exception of one dish, the food really hit the spot.

After breakfast, I headed to Auto Zone to grab some headlights for Cheryl's car. I've had a headlight out, so I just decided to switch out both at the same time. It was cheaper and easier than I expected, which was nice. But I was still able to get my hands all greasy and dirty, so I got that macho satisfaction that comes with doing manly things like fixing cars...even if it's just changing headlights.

The weirdest thing happened when I was driving home from Auto Zone. I passed a guy that had a duck sitting on his lap! I didn't believe it at first, so I let him catch up and...yep, it was a real, live duck just chillin' on the dude's lap. It'll probably be hard to see, but I took a picture anyway.



With the car taken care of, I headed off to the mall to get my computer looked at. (Sidetrack rant: some stupid lady was puppyguarding a parking spot in the parking lot. Totally against parking lot rules, if you ask me!) There's nothing seriously wrong, but I can't plug into the internet. I can still connect wirelessly, but it'd be nice to get my plug fixed so that I can use my laptop at work (since we don't have wireless there). As expected, the Genius Bar was booked out, so I just made an appointment for Monday. I didn't even walk around the mall because I had one more thing on my to-do list for the day...

The thing I was most excited for today was moving into my new cube at work. With a key and the alarm code now in my possession, I headed in to get settled in. I didn't even get the satisfaction of using my new key because there were other people in the office. I spent three hours cleaning out the old stuff in my cube and putting my personal touch on the place. It's not a finished product, but it feels good to get settled in a bit and I'm extremely excited for the new digs! Oh...did I mention I also found a VERY RARE card while cleaning out some old stuff? It's a Justin Upton Aflac card with the words "Player Issue" written on the side. It's really too bad that it's a little dinged up, otherwise it would be worth several hundred dollars. Here are a couple pictures of how my cube turned out so far...



What's your fantasy?

If you're going to buy a fantasy magazine this year, why not make it one with my name in it? I don't see an additional dime either way, so please don't feel obligated, but if you want to buy it on Amazon, here's a link.

Restaurant reviews

I've been to a couple pretty good restaurants lately that I wanted to tell everyone about.

LongHorn Steakhouse
First, when I got the good news about the job opportunity last week, I decided to go out and celebrate and headed toward this shopping center in Raleigh that a coworker showed me (another restaurant from this area will be mentioned below). I ended up at a place called the LongHorn Steakhouse. It's nothing spectacular - just your average steak chain (think Outback Steakhouse, but with a country-western theme, instead of the faux Australia vibe). However, it was pretty good, not too expensive and there were two things that really made it stand out. The best part was that when you order your steak, you have your choice of either a baked potato or a sweet potato. I chose a sweet potato and it was an EXCELLENT decision. They serve their sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon sugar, and it was absolutely delicious! The second cool thing was that on my way out, the host thanked me by name. I couldn't figure out if he did it because he remembered my name from when I put it on the list to wait for a table, or if they somehow do it with credit card information, or what. Frankly, I'm not even sure if it's something they do every time, but it was pretty cool. I don't think that's ever happened to me before...



Jason's Deli
I'm usually one of the last people to leave work and oftentimes my buddy Kary will ask if I want to go to dinner. We both live alone and both know that eating alone sucks, so going out just makes sense sometimes. We have our staple places, but we've also been trying some new places and one place he showed me the other day has become a new favorite. It's a pretty big chain (though there aren't any in WA) called Jason's Deli. It's always packed with families with small kids (one of my editors told me it's his kids' favorite place to go) and I think I know why...free ice cream! They have lots of good soups, sandwiches and a salad bar. And, like I mentioned, free soft serve when you're done. They know the key to my heart!

Backyard BBQ Pit
Move over Q-Shack, I've got a new favorite barbecue restaurant! Don't get me wrong, the Q-Shack is good and all, but The Pit has a lot of things in its favor. 1) It's actual North Carolina-style barbecue, not Texas style like the Q-Shack. 2) It's a lot closer to work. 3) It's cheaper (almost half the price). 4) Aside from the hushpuppies, all the sides are better. 5) Their lemonade has chunks of pineapple in it! 6) The guys that work there are awesome. 7) You can bring in a Sharpie and draw on / autograph the walls.

Other restaurant-related stories
• I told my editor that I had already gone to Mama Dip's and he told me that in college, he would always take girls there on their first or second date. If they didn't like it, they didn't get another date with him! Haha!
• One place I really want to try the next time Cheryl comes out is Sutton's Drug Store. It's a really famous place in Chapel Hill that hearkens back to the '50s with great burgers, hot dogs, fries, milkshakes and orangeade or limeade.

Friday, January 30, 2009

I got the job!



I think everyone who reads this site already knows, but I wanted to post on it anyway just in case. After six months of working hard as an editorial intern, I was offered a full-time position with Baseball America. I've absolutely loved my time out here, so the decision to accept was a no-brainer. Aside from the chance to write about baseball for the game's best publication and be immersed in the sport that I love 24/7, the work environment is just ideal. Everybody in the office is great, it's a fun place to be and I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity. It sounds cheesy, but I came out here to chase my dream job and now my dream has come true.

I'll be covering the draft, so I'll mostly be writing about high school and college players—mostly in the western states (minus California, which is its own beast). It will be a challenge, but it's certainly one that I'm looking forward to. Here's an example of the writeup we did for Washington last year.

Cheryl won't be able to join me until July, so I'll be living alone (still no roommate) until then. I will actually be able to come out to Seattle for a couple weeks between now and then, as my new bosses were extremely fair and flexible in understanding my unique situation. It will actually be perfect, as I'll be able to kill two birds with one stone and see some great players at UW and in the Seattle area during those visits.

I'll also have the opportunity to see a TON of baseball this year. I've already loaded schedules onto my calendar for UNC, Duke, NC State, ECU, the Durham Bulls, the Carolina Mudcats, the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Burlington Royals. Plus, there's also some great high school players nearby this year and other tournaments and trips could be in the works. In April and May alone, there are only eight days where it's not actually possible to go to a game in the area. Think I can catch 100 games this year? I'll have fun trying!

Cheryl and I know it's going to be hard to be away from everyone and out here on our own. But we're going to visit as much as possible and are looking forward to this new chapter and our adventure together. Plus, I promised her a puppy. She's going to start a blog too (NorthCherylina.blogspot.com has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?).

I'll be sure to post more links to my writing and pictures of my cube once I get it all set up.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

It's snowing!

I thought I was done with this crap...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend recap

Cheryl was able to come out for a long weekend and we had a fantastic time together. She left work early on Friday and embarked on an eight-hour journey across the country. Her direct flight from Seattle to D.C. was delayed by 20 minutes, which forced her to sprint from gate-to-gate to make her connecting flight. Luckily, she made it just in the nick of time, narrowly avoiding a catastrophe!

Before picking Cheryl up at the airport, I went and saw Los Campesinos! and they were awesome. The opening band (Titus Andronicus) was good as well and I really liked the club (Cat's Cradle). Good times.

Cheryl got in at about 11 and we headed to the store to pick up some snacks for the weekend. Looking for some unhealthy munchies, Cheryl said, "This is our aisle!" as we passed one of the aisles in the middle of the store. She was talking about the snacks on the shelves, but I had to laugh because it was the cracker aisle and we were the only white people in the store!

After that, we headed home and stayed up late watching TV and playing cribbage.

We slept in on Saturday before heading out to get brunch at Elmo's. We had to wait a bit for a table, but it was worth it. Cheryl had scrambled eggs and chocolate chip pancakes and I tired the huevos rancheros. We followed that up with a trip to Locopops, which never disappoints, and then headed to the mall where we walked around for a bit and then saw the Notorious B.I.G movie. For dinner we got a Q-Shack sandwich to go and shared it at home while we chilled out again.

Sunday was even lazier. We slept in again and then headed out for lunch at Mama Dip's. Cheryl had the best chicken-fried steak she's ever had and I tried the roast beef. It wasn't as good as the chicken and dumplings I had last time there. Then...surprise, surprise... we hit up Locopops again and even got some to take home and stick in the freezer. That night, we ate dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and then went bowling. We bet on the games and I won both, as Cheryl declared it was her worst bowling performance since she was six years old. So, Cheryl paid up her end of the bet by doing my laundry and dishes and a care package is on the way.

Today, we woke up and just hung out for a bit before she had to go to the airport. The recap probably doesn't do it justice, but we had a really great time together. Right now, we're not certain when we'll see each other again, but we should hopefully have some news later this week!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Tweet tweet!


You've probably noticed the new sidebar on the right side of this page, but I'm guessing not all of my readers really know what Twitter actually is. Twitter is another social networking site, but don't think it's another MySpace or Facebook. It's similar in that you have "friends," but it's different too. All you do on your page is what's known as micro-blogging — mini blog posts limited to 140 characters. You're encouraged to update often, so that your friends can keep track of what you're doing. Just like MySpace and Facebook, it's a lot more fun than it actually sounds. Give it a shot...sign up now and let's be friends!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Back in the day

I'm sure neither of these will be as entertaining to you as they are to me, but I'm putting them up anyway. Recently, my buddy Mike found a CD that contained both a movie we made in high school and a recording of our band's first concert. Enjoy!

"Killer Ape"


And here's the MP3 of our first show. It's sloppy, trashy and so, so good! This took place on Feb. 12, 2000 at a little place called the Happy Valley Grange off of Redmond-Fall City Road. At the time, our band was called Dead Last (we would later have to change it to Joe Batters after getting a threatening letter from some other band called Dead Last). We rented out the Grange and played with our friends' band, Good For Nothing. We promoted the show around school and played a song in an assembly the day before. Hundreds of kids came out and each paid $5 to get in and a great time was had by all. The funny thing is that our singer split right after the show, not helping us clean up or anything, so we didn't give him any of the money we made. I think he got the last laugh on that one!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mad Max

After Christmas #3, the kids were having fun jumping on bubble wrap in the kitchen. I tried to get some video footage of it, but my nephew Max saw the camera and came out of nowhere. He's a bit of a ham...and SO CUTE!

Christmas catch-up

I didn't blog much when I was home for Christmas, so I wanted to do a little recap of the awesome two weeks I got to spend in Seattle...

I got in on the night of the 19th, right after the first few snowstorms happened. I have two funny stories from my plane ride home. One, I sat in front of a woman that was baby talking her lap dog the entire flight. Suuuper annoying! "Oh Clancy, it's okay schmoopie! We're almost there sweetheart! Clancy!" Two, the guy sitting next to me was counting on his fingers while he took a Mensa quiz in the American Airlines magazine. I snuck a picture of him and if you look closely, he's actually on the page of the quiz...



The weather was pretty crazy already, but my dad was able to pick me up and took Cheryl and I to her mom's house. The next night my family went out to dinner at The Met and it was awesome...the wedge salad is to die for, but my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I couldn't finish my steak.

It was snowing during dinner and didn't really let up for the next couple days. My dad was still able to get around in his Volvo, so it was kind of funny to constantly rely on him for rides. Living at Liz and Jean's house and relying on our parents for rides really made us feel like we were back in junior high.

Christmas came quickly and it they were great. I say they because with Cheryl's family, I essentially get four Christmases every year. So far, we have spent Christmas morning with my family opening gifts and eating breakfast and the afternoon is spent over at her mom's house with another round of presents and an early dinner. A couple days later, when Cheryl's brothers get into town, there's another Christmas at her mom's and then one at her dad's. Good times.



My family had a rule that every gift was supposed to be either used, homemade or under $20, but my sister was the only one that actually followed it for everyone. I made a really cool baseball scorebook for my dad, but it was too difficult to make or find used things for my mom and sister, so Cheryl and I cheated.

I got some really great gifts this year. Some of the highlights included a bike from my sister, a baseball bat pepper grinder, a vintage scarf and a really neat old baseball magazine from an antique store from my parents, some cologne from Cheryl, a new golf bag from Cheryl's dad, Entourage Season 3 from my cousin Erin and a lot of iTunes gift cards ($110, to be exact), which I had no problem spending!



The two weeks absolutely flew by and because of the snow and other commitments, I wasn't able to do everything I had in mind. I didn't see people I wanted to see, didn't go places I wanted to go, eat at places I wanted to eat or do things I wanted to do. However, it was still great to be able to come home for such a long time and be with Cheryl and the rest of my family for a bit. So, aside from big things like that, here are some of my more random highlights, in no particular order...

• The first time I saw my niece, Ali, she ran into the house, gave me a big hug and said, "I love you, Con Con!"
• Listening to my nephew Max sing songs, call his dad "Greg" and just be an all-around adorable two-year-old (video proof coming soon)
• Riding bikes in the snow with my dad on Christmas day
• Mike and Jenn got engaged!
• throwing snowballs
• Cheryl and I giggling ourselves to sleep
• awesome home-cooked meals
• "THAT IS FOR YOUR OWN HOME!"
• Watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation and Home Alone with Cheryl and Meg
• Going to the last Thunderbirds hockey game at the Key Arena with my dad
• Playing a prank on my niece Madi by constantly hiding a picture of her sister Olivia around the house
• Watching my niece, Gabi, imitate Dan's awful Russian march from The Amazing Race
• Watching "Step Brothers" and playing Rock Band with my homies